You know that time-old, epic battle between giants that forces you to think about whose side you're really on? Whether you're a bit rough around the edges and perhaps vitamin C deficient but you've got swagger for days, or whether you're slinky, fast and silent but also rarely show your face or crack a joke? We're talking about pirates versus ninjas, of course.
Well, nature has just presented a new epic battle, and it's time to take sides. We're talking about alligators versus sharks.
A new report by National Geographic reveals how alligators will eat anything that crosses their path, from fish and stingrays to smaller alligators and sharks. Apparently this happens all the time.
Alligator experts can cite three separate times the dinosaur-like reptiles have killed and consumed sharks, specifically a lemon shark, a bonnethead shark and a nurse shark.
The twist? These gator experts also confirmed that there are many recorded instances of sharks eating alligators, in a kind of tit-for-tat deal that's probably not a real deal but just a funny result of nature placing two violent and opportunistic predators in biomes where they can meet and interact.
We would hate to be a fish caught in the crosshairs of those fights.
The only catch is that these epic showdowns are often hard to spot. Both animals are pretty good at lurking in their respective habitats and slinking under the radar of where scientists would think to look.
And if you think this sounds just the right amount of dangerous to you, scientists have also observed crocodiles hunting and preying on bull sharks, which are one of the largest and most dangerous sharks in the world.
One point to the reptiles.
But scientists have also recorded multiple instances of large groups of sharks going after and slaying groups of alligators. Another point to the sharks. It seems like this violent species war has been going on for years, and no one really noticed it until now.
So whose side would you pick? We're admittedly biased, but we're going to have to say we're Team Shark. Alligators seem like big ol' softies.